Monday, November 8, 2010

A2A ‘Cloud Comparison’ – Storage Services

This is part of my series of article 'A2A Cloud Comparison' ; in my previous article I have compared Amazon and Azure on Computing Services space. In this article I have given my view on Cloud Storage Services in general and the corresponding services by Amazon and Azure Cloud Providers.
Storage in Cloud
One of the important services that are provided by Cloud is the Storage Service. Cloud Storage provides enormous amount of storage space that is accessible over internet with features added on top of it. Also as with other cloud services this comes with Pay as you use model. Let us understand why the storage services in cloud is going to be important, year by year the cost of storage disks keep on reducing but still the enterprise storage cost keep on increasing year by year, the problem with conventional storage costing is that even though the hardware cost keeps on reducing cost on operation and maintenance keeps the total cost increased, also it is difficult to keep with the exponential need in the storage needs. Cloud Storage Services tries to address all these problems.

Understanding Storage in Cloud:
Cloud Storage operates on a base concept called Storage Virtualization. Storage Virtualization system provides a logical data store that maps over the physical storage system through a mapping table.
Storage Virtualization in general achieves the following
1. Location independence – Abstracts the physical location and thus enables data movement across different physical locations.
2. Replication – Enables replication of the storage data across multiple locations
3. Data migration – Enables movement of storage data to a faster / better infrastructure if needed.
4. Dynamic scaling - Enables to scale the capacity of the storage space when needed

Storage Services in Amazon and Azure
Amazon, Azure the top public cloud computing service providers provides services in Storage segment. Both of them provide similar type of services in storage segment. These storage services can be accessed by a REST based API or web service API calls.

Let us try to compare the cost of these storage services by these vendors. Generally the cost of these services will vary based on geographic location and also will be revised (generally reduced), the costing I am mentioning is as of today.

(Please note that billing fees are subject to change.)

Please refer to the following links for the detailed pricing

Security options
Security in Data Transition:
Security in data transition can be achieved by means of secured http channel.
Security in Data Source:
Highly sensitive data that needs to be secured at the source can be achieved by means of data encryptions.
Security in Access:
Cloud providers are coming up with Authentication, Authorization mechanism by which access to these resources can be secured.
Security in Virtualization:
Virtual Servers in the same physical servers are properly secured by means of virtual firewall by the cloud providers and hence data is kept secured between virtual servers on same physical server.

Best Practices
1. Choose the Cloud Storage Data centre location closer to the end user
2. Segregate the data into different buckets(Amazon) or Containers(Azure) so that different level of security access can be achieved
3. Partition the data properly to achieve higher throughput and efficiency.

CDN Integration
Both Amazon and Azure provides Content Delivery Network (CDN) that can be integrated with their storage services to provide closer delivery of data to the clients with higher performance and better reliability.

There are few cloud storage explorer management tools that are available that facilitates a user to view the data on cloud storage
Cloudberry Explorer -
Explorer Tools: S3Fox, BucketExplorer,
Azure Storage Explorer -
Azure Storage Manager -

Other Cloud Storage Providers in the market:
Nirvanix -
EMS Automos -

1 comment:

  1. Hi Aravind, there is a typo it should be EMC's atmos :)